PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday announced a 55-member politburo for his Zanu PF party, with his wife, Auxillia being reappointed as party secretary for environment and tourism.
Auxillia will be deputised by Joshua Sacco, who made a surprise entry to the politburo, the highest decision-making body of the party.
The Zanu PF politburo is the standing committee of the Central Committee and implements all its decisions, directives, rules and regulations.
Other entrants to the politburo include Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube who was appointed deputy secretary for finance, deputising party bigwig and former Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.
Businessman James Makamba also made it onto the list, where he would deputise July Moyo in the department of transport and social welfare.
Makamba was stopped from campaigning for the post of Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson in December last year.
- Budget dampens workers’ hopes
- Govt issues $24 billion Covid-19 guarantees
- Letter to my People:They have no answers for Nero’s charisma
- ZMX to enhance farm profitability
Other new faces that made it to the supreme Zanu PF decision-making body include former Information Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira, and former acting youth secretary, Tendai Chirau who lost the party central committee race to Mavis Gumbo.
Chirau has now benefited from Mnangagwa’s benevolence to retain the post of deputy secretary for security.
Tino Machakaire was appointed national secretary for youth affairs.
Mnangagwa also introduced some young faces in the politburo, which include Chirau, and John Paradza who was appointed deputy secretary for youth affairs.
Mnangagwa dropped former politburo members, Sydney Sekeramayi and David Parirenyatwa, whose names were not included in the new list.
Sekeramayi was touted as the preferred choice to replace the late former President Robert Mugabe as president.
Mnangagwa is yet to appoint a council of elders, and Sekeramayi, if luck is on his side, might find his way there.
Former national commissar and Cabinet minister Webster Shamu was retained as a politburo member and has been appointed deputy secretary for the commissariat to complement Mike Bimha.
Firebrand Manicaland politician Irene Zindi also found a place in Mnangagwa’s politburo as deputy secretary for health, child welfare and the elderly.
Mnangagwa’s secretary for business Elifas Mashava, who hogged the limelight for donating firewood to Bulawayo youths, was rewarded for his gesture. He is now the Zanu PF secretary for business.
Mnangagwa also appointed some war veterans, including Andy Mhlanga who has been quiet over the years.
He also appointed former Midlands chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube to the politburo.
Addressing the politburo yesterday, Mnangagwa said: “We have a strong and dedicated team in place, and I have full confidence in their ability to lead us to victory in the upcoming elections.”
Meanwhile, political analysist Ricky Mukonza said Mnangagwa had his eyes fixated on winning the 2023 general elections.
“To achieve that, he needs a united Zanu PF including all the factions in the party, hence, the bringing back of the likes of Shamhu who used to be seen as Gamatox.
“Even Mandiwanzira who was seen as being too close to Mugabe was appointed to a full position in the politburo. Mnangagwa has also brought in his people to augment his power including his wife, Auxillia, Ncube and Mackenzie Ncube,” Mukonza said.
He said Mnangagwa had also maintained the core team that assisted him in the 2017 coup, such as Obert Mpofu, Chinamasa and Paul Mangwana.
“We can conclude that he is trying to play a balancing act, and this is continuing from what we saw in the composition of the central committee,” he said.